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A Fatal Grace

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  81,888 ratings  ·  6,802 reviews
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, r
Kindle Edition, 417 pages
Published May 15th 2007 (first published September 30th 2006)
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Chris Hinkle It seems clear to me that Louise Penny is letting the readers believe (with Clara and Gamache) that if they didn't actually meet God, then something p…moreIt seems clear to me that Louise Penny is letting the readers believe (with Clara and Gamache) that if they didn't actually meet God, then something pretty close to that happened. El's knowledge of what Clara needed to hear, like the lemon pie, confirms the presence of grace.(less)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that it’s been announced that Louise Penny will co-author her next novel with her famous friend Hillary Clinton, I’m really looking forward to reading it!

Hopefully, I’ll be giving another Exceptionally well-written book five stars, as I have this one.

Louise Penny is a Supernova in the Canadian literary firmament. And her warmth and human compassion is especially endearing, as is her supercharged inspiration in concocting such an endlessly labyrinthine structure for her book.

Her writing is e
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, canada
"So much more comforting to see bad in others; gives us all sorts of excuses for our own bad behavior. But good? No, only really remarkable people see the good in others."

A fatal grace is the 2nd installment in Inspector Armand Gamache cozy mystery series. In Still Life I was introduced to the inspector and his team and fell in love with Three Pines, the little village where the action takes place. Gamache is a chief inspector in the Sûreté du Québec, an honorable and complex character whose mai
Susan Anderson
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, literary
Where to begin with all the richness that A FATAL GRACE gave me. Reading it, I wondered how I had lived so long without discovering the work of Louise Penny, a first-rate writer. Her creation in this book is so real, her writing so lyrical, her characters so unique and the book's structure and meaning so complex that I began mumbling to myself, taking my sweet time reading the book in order to savor its mix of flavors, its innuendoes and subtleties, having at times to stop and scratch my head. I ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada-crime
4 stars for an entertaining mystery.
I enjoyed reading book 2 in this series, set in the mythical town of Three Pines, Quebec. This town is close to the US border in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec(between the St. Lawrence River and the US Vermont border). Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec, is called to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers, electrocuted in front of an entire village.
He does solve the murder, and connects it with another mur
Have you ever been so dam cold that you could hardly move your frozen lips to talk? Having grown up in Michigan amidst many a freezing winter days, I have, and in A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny truly brings a chilling winter alive making the reader feel you are at the enchanted snowy village of Three Pines in Quebec.

In book two, there's another murder to solve for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his crew as the repulsively cruel CC De Poitiers is no more. Deliberately electrocuted, the villagers

Louise Penny is terrific. I'm a big fan of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. A Fatal Grace, the 2nd of the series, takes a different path from the first book. More emotion, in depth character analysis, and what is perceived and what is really inside peoples minds. Different and beautiful. What wonderful prose. Listening to Ralph Cosham is such a pleasure. I'm only going with the audiobooks because of Cosham's voice and French Canadian accent.

CC de Poitiers, the murder victim, has to be
The setup for this book is very long and the main thing the author established was how cruel some characters were and how others were affected by cruelty. This section was so unnecessarily long that I wanted to give up on the book. The only reason I didn't was because I really enjoyed the first book.

The focus of the cruelty was on fat. And for a while it seemed that it was only the characters who were being cruel but then I read this passage about a 12 year old girl.
And beside him an enormous c
James Thane
Louise Penny is a gifted writer who has created in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache a sympathetic protagonist who appeals to large numbers of readers. She has also created a richly-imagined setting in the charming Canadian village of Three Pines, which is located somewhere just south of Montreal. The tiny hamlet is populated by a cast of quirky but mostly lovable characters who spend a lot of time walking through the snow and curling up in front of blazing fires. In doing so, Penny has attracted a ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another of those books with two titles. A Fatal Grace or Dead Cold. Take your pick.
Anyway whatever it is called it is an excellent book. I hate the cold, but love reading about places where the snow is metres deep and the water freezes on the end of the firemen's hoses as they try to put out a fire. Wow! Also the story takes place at Christmas in a picture perfect town where the snow sparkles in the sun and everyone drinks hot chocolate and eats cookies. What more does a book need?
Actually o
"The monster’s dead and the villagers are celebrating."

It’s been some time, but I was happy to find myself back in Three Pines, the idyllic little community in Quebec that is peppered with interesting characters, as well as several secrets. CC de Poitiers is fairly new in town, and definitely not a friend to any – not even those who had tried to make an effort to welcome this hateful, self-centered woman. So when she was found murdered in the middle of a curling match, it’s no surprise that the
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Can't add much to thousands or readers praising this series .... One thing is certain, A Fatal Grace left me wanting to read next instalments. ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: Marty Fried
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny returns with a second novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, just as riveting and captivating as the debut piece that offered the reader so much! While many of the familiar residents of Three Pines are in Montreal to shop for the holiday season, a newer family has begun to set-up some roots of their own in this bucolic town nestled in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. CC de Poitiers heads this family, a woman who takes no prisoners and seeks to crush those in her way, in ...more
Lewis Weinstein
I started reading this book immediately after finishing Still Life, with high expectations. At first, I was disappointed. The initial chapters seemed to lose the edge established by the prior book, the returning characters from the village of Three Pines seemed far less interesting than before.

Then Inspector Gamache came on the scene, late in my judgment, but once he made his appearance, the story took off, with an accelerating pace that lasted all the way through. The Three Pines characters, n
Myrna looked out the window and wondered whether their peace, so fragile and precious, was about to be shattered. Since CC de Poitiers had arrived there'd been a gathering gloom over their little community. She'd brought something unsavory to Three Pines, in time for Christmas.

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It is Christmas in Three Pines- and once again Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are called to investigate another murder...

No one liked CC de Poitiers – not her daughter, not her husband, not her l
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I have read and it is the second in the series. It is fast becoming my favorite new series and I plan to read them in order. I don't think it is necessary to read the books in order but I think it will help to get to know Gamache, the members of his team, and most of all the quirky residents of the small village of Three Pines, Quebec.

It is Christmas time in Three Pines but CC de Poitiers manages to alienate everyone she co
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mystery fan
“With each breath his nostrils froze shut and the air was like an ice pack in his sinuses, shooting pain through his forehead and making his eyes tear and freeze. By the time they were halfway to the train station he could barely see . . . the cold was already inside him, as though he was naked...”

Reading this during a steamy Australian summer is an interesting experience. Here it’s the kind of weather when you find yourself stripped down to barely acceptable clothing and opening the fridge or
Heidi The Reader
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache solves more murders while surrounded by the sparkling personalities that compose the small town of Three Pines in Canada.

Nobody likes the victim of the murder, which makes the job harder for Gamache. As a reader, I was cheering for Gamache to solve the crime, but not because of the unlikeable CC de Poiters. She was as different a character from the victim of the first book, Jane, as you could possibly be.

I wonder if Louise Penny's editors said, 'Give us another co
It is seldom the case for me to feel a happy contentment when opening up a book. A feeling of "Oh, it feels so good to be home". Louise Penny has become a firm favorite in the murder mystery genre and I just loved to be home in the Three Pines village of Quebec again with all the characters welcoming me. This time it was the day after Christmas, the deadly winter was raging, and more people would die than ever imagined.

CC was a despised woman. Obnoxious, cruel, -she was maddeningly bad news- to

Description: Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to
Chief Inspector Armand Gamach of the Sûreté du Québec received the call while with his wife – he was immediately headed to Three Pines where he’d investigated a murder the previous year. There had been another murder.

Three Pines was a pretty little village and as it was nearing Christmas, it was bitterly cold with snow and ice surrounding the cottages, the bistro, the B&B as well as the village green; even the lake was completely iced over. CC de Poitiers had been despised by all – no one person
Natasha Niezgoda

If mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and warm chocolate cake are your "soothing" blankets when life gets hard, then this will be too! It's LITERALLY the most perfect series for this freaking quarantine (aka the world is shutting down) saga.


In this "case", Inspector Gamache is back in Three Pines. The victim is CC. She's a thorn in everyone's side but her death wasn't accidental. And Gamache must still bring someone to justice even if she did deserve to die for her sins (whi
Bryn (Plus Others)
Dec 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-mystery
I realise I am a rare dissenter here, but this book was so awful it made my teeth hurt. It is a book in which the values the story claims to be promoting (compassion, love, generosity, respect for human dignity) are actually entirely undercut by the text itself. I think ten years ago we would have fallen in love with this series, because the lies it tells about doing good and doing evil are told in such pretty prose, with all the symbols of cosiness -- wood fires and snowfall, old friends gather ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This series is great. I love the way Penny leads us into the psyche of people. Ganache listens. It is how he solves crimes. Gamache also loves people but I think Louise Penny must too. The people of Three Pines are an amazing cast. It makes me yearn for that kind of community. I love Ruth and the Beer Walk really touched me when I learned what it was. The story itself was pretty sad. I am enjoying the foreshadowing about the Arnot case and looking forward to seeing where that goes in future book ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Louise Penny does is create a small, intimate world, while creating a sense of place so pervasive you feel you know it. Canada is rarely featured in best-selling books, and to have it so celebrated is wonderful. It is Quebec, to be sure, but the Quebec of Anglo-culture, and so, it is the Canadian Quebec.

Most powerful, for me, is the way she builds quiet characters of amazing strength and depth. These are not cartoon-brilliant people. They are, for the most part, fully-fleshed out, but rath
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Book 2 is much improved compared to the writing in Book 1--Still Life, of this series. I loved the quaint small town, where I could feel right at home. I felt the mystery itself (or mysteries plural) was pretty easy to solve early on though, so that is why only 3 stars. I am hoping each book improves, and I plan on continuing the series.
joyce g
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like coming home when you read this second in the Gamache series. Delightful! I would take a few good friends with me to live in Three Pines.
Amy Imogene Reads

A woman nobody liked is dead—electrocuted in public during a Canadian sporting event. Can Chief Inspector Gamache uncover the levels of treachery at the heart of this twisted murder?

Plot: ★★★★
Character development: ★★★★★
Pacing: slow, slow beginning

A Fatal Grace is the second novel in the Armand Gamache detective series. Like all other entries, these clever murder mysteries can be read as standalone novels OR sequentially—you get more context with all of them, but the murders are self contain
Ann Girdharry
Definitely a top read. This is a really enjoyable, cozy mystery, starring the wonderful Inspector Armand Gamache.

In this second book in the series, Gamache and his team and called back to the small village of Three Pines to investigate the murder of CC Poitiers.

It’s Christmas time in the quiet Quebec village and everyone is enjoying the festivities and an abundance of food and good will and neighbourly good deeds. The winter landscape plays an important part in the story as they cope with plumm
Terence M
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 10:30 Hours
Narrator: Ralph Cosham (excellent narration!)
Upgraded from my original 3.0 Stars to 4.0 Stars
Review to follow - here it is😉
Upfront, I want to state that I definitely "Liked" Armand Gamache #2, "A Fatal Grace", aka "Dead Cold", so it earns an almost unequivocal 3 Stars, but...
I thought the plot was quite convoluted, and made even more so by the overlaid (or underlaid) secondary issue faced by Gamache from a previous investigation. I also needed to 're-wind' and re-listen,
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read in this series and just as good as the other one I have read. I'm not reading them in order, which is fine with me since it's usually a few weeks after I finish one before I start another in the series. I really love Louise Penny's writing style and the way she develops these characters. Here are two of my favorite lines from this book:

"There at the back stood CC de Poitiers wearing a fluffy white sweater made of either cashmere or kittens."

"Now she sat in front
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LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (seven times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)

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